Sunday, November 13, 2011

With God All Things Are Possible!!!

With God all things are possible!!! Truly I have been praying for inspiration, tenacity, and courage to tackle Mount Pool Table.  And today my goal was to clean the top of the pool table.  Here is before and after.  Yes I now have a few boxes of things on the floor.  1) Give.  2) Stuff we will do two years or later from now. 3) Stuff we have done that I want to save.  I found extension cords, a remote control, and a pool table!!!!  Imagine that.  Thank you Jesus!  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day ??? Organizing Frenzy

I really have not given up three days into this cleaning frenzy....  I am really keeping with it.  I am just not blogging it!!  Really!!!  We went to visit my folks for a few days and so I had unpacking from trip one, packing for trip two and now unpacking.  Exhausting.  However....

---- The carpets have been steam cleaned while we were gone thanks to the wonderful husband!  Kid might freak out with wet floors and so they did it while we were gone.

---- The carpet cleaning necessitated us taking everything off the floor.  This does not mean that I became organized overnight.  However, I did do some partial organizing and will do more of it while I put all the items back.

---- I am tackling the unpacking one step at a time.

---- My sister helped me put up cube shelving in the 'back room' and so now I have a blank palette with which to work with!!!  I can't wait to start organizing.


I can't quite call this 'after'.... but this is how it looks presently.  (Notice I do not pan out on the picture.)

My silly sister who helped me ;)  Thanks Sissy.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Maaaaailllll timeeeee.....

I am trying to figure out what to do with my mail.  I have 'several' traveling file boxes like this:

The problem is I never look in them.  And so now I have three (I think) boxes as well as a giant basket full of stuff.  And when the mail comes in the door, it goes on the kitchen table and then in a bin or a box or a pile.

And no solution...  Is this a problem everyone has?

At work I used to do binders but my bookshelves are full.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Shelf.. day ?

I was going to blog both the bookshelf and desk on the same day but I think each one is worth it's own post.  Don't you?  First is the before picture.  Mind you, this was FULL at one point with books from top to bottom...cookbooks.  The bin on the bottom was FULL with "science stuff I want to do this week."  Except the same items have been in there for probably a year.  

So I parted with fifteen books as you saw a few days ago.  Today I wanted to order two new cookbooks so I parted with two more.  (Don't tell anyone but I have two other areas where I keep cookbooks and they are quite 'full.'  Eventually I want them all in this space but I will have to bring myself to part with a few more for that to happen.)  

So actually this isn't the before picture.  This is "midway."  

And here is 'after.'  Nice eh?  Sepia makes everything look better!  It might seem strange to have weights there but hubby uses them all the time for his exercise regime.  The bin is gone.  (Ok the bin is on the floor full of books that are going to go to the 'back room' when my sister comes to help me build my cubicle bookshelves.  Hey!  I got rid of 17 cookbooks!  Cut me some slack.)

I put the pictures up there because if I left it empty it would accumulate more items.  It is a nice space however for me to put a coffee cup when I am at my desk.  I want to find a table for between the bookshelf and the desk because the milk cartons that are currently there say "early american college."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 4... The Unpacking After Vacation

Ug... 1 day to pack.  2 days gone.  3 days to unpack and clean up and not make progress on anything new.  And I will have to repeat this in about a week.  Oh well.  We had fun.

So that is what happened today.  I unpacked, cleaned the kitchen and still working off the kitchen table.  I have to find my rebate info that I picked up at the eye doc right before I left and I thought I put in a pile.. it is not here.

So I decided to google, "unpacking after a vacation."  And there were many good articles.  Here is an assortment.

I really like this note on Facebook.
I actually do some of the things in this blog post.
I still have a bunch of brochures from our MN vacation this summer.  Here is just one blogger's thoughts on that..

I usually have a pile of brochures and guide books about everywhere that I visited while on the trip. These are meant to form the basis of a wonderful scrap book. Sadly, this has not happened yet! I try to be realistic by making some notes, but all too often I find a faded colllection of these souvenirs on a window sill long after the event. My hard advice would be to just throw them out!

I'm not there yet.

The rest is just more of the same.  So the bathing suits were taken out right away, laundry is in a pile, dishes are done... car is tomorrow.  Cleaning the car is always left for tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 3... The Travel List

Well...lest you think you can come and rob me, I am not hitting publish on this one until we get home.  Today I got ready for a trip we will be taking for a couple of days.  For some this is a no -brainer.  Add in special diets and keeping a kid happy in the car and it is just a tad more complicated.

So, although I am not the best of planners, I have a master travel list that I pull up each time we go somewhere.  I have each medication, piece of electronics, clothing we might need.  I have swim suits and boat shoes on there year round.  No need to modify.  I can just cross it off if we don't need it.  Over the years it got quite lenghty.  No longer need bottles.  He's eleven.....  But I never got around to fixing the list. Finally when we got a new computer- I lost the list- and started from scratch.

I also used Cozi.  It really did serve me today.  The little things like yell to the neighbor to please see if we have any packages that need picking up.  For some reason he doesn't want me to have his phone number so the minute I saw him leave his house I stalked him.  I have to say I feel PRETTY DARN good about what I accomplished.  I even read off my list to the kid to show him how busy I had been today!

I still have to get up early to do the usual last minute thing but most of my packings are sitting right here to load in the car.

But we are back now.  And although I am writing these words before we leave..  I am sure we had a great time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cozi... Day 2...and trains.

All was going well today.  I wrote up my list on Cozi.  I ♥ Cozi.  I can put in my to do list on the computer, iPod touch or iPad and it will transfer to the others.  (Works on iPhone too but I don't have one of those.)  You can keep track of shopping lists for various stores.'s a keeper.  So my goal today was to make a list and check it off.  And then the trains collide...

If you read my other Growing Fruit blog you know we have some 'challenges' in the house and today was no exception.  Today was actually exceptionally challenging but at least it was on a smooth track until dinner time.  Maybe I'll blog that over on Growing Fruit soon.

But Cozi does help keep me on track.  I had a sitter today for four hours.  I USED those four hours.  Went to the eye doctor and ordered my new glasses.  That took an HOUR.  Then went to the drug store to find various things. Then to Bed Bath and Beyond to get some organizing 'stuffs.'  Blah Blah Blah... The usual mundane stuff but I actually had 30 minutes left to stop at Starbucks and read my Bible for a bit.

I stuck to the list.

Played with the Kid when I got home.  (That wasn't on the list but well worth the deviation!)   And still had time to finish more things on the list.  Yep the list keeps me sane- WHEN I use it.  Even when the trains collide.  And today I used the list.  Tomorrow...more list.

So I didn't get it ALL done but I got more done that if I'd not had a list.  Heck I even had time to blog this.  Then again, this is my therapy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days

Ok it is October 17 and this started October 1 and I am not even going to be here for every day in the next 31 days.  In fact there is probably a week I will be gone.

But I found a 31 days of housekeeping  challenge over at Prairie Home Therapy  and I am going to try and do it for every day that I am here.  I very much want to reorganize my desk "once and for all." I have done this before but I need a place for everything so everything can be in its place so it doesn't revert to chaos.  Although I am a system 'tweaker' I want empty shelf space so I can do that with ease.

 I have copious amounts of cook books... and by copious I mean probably in the hundreds.  I purged about 20-30 awhile back and I am so proud of myself for getting rid of 15 today.  This area is right next to my desk so it will allow me to get closer to my 'desk goal'.   If you see a title you like, claim it fast....because this box will be going ...going.... gone.

So every day for 31 days (not in a row) I am going to try and do something different than the usual to declutter or cement a habit.  By the end of November even Peter Walsh will be proud.

By the way, I found the 31 day challenge via another blog..A Slob Comes Clean.  It is a super fun blog to read and watch!  I tend to read a lot of blogs and not DO anything.  So my reward every day will be to spend some time blogging what I do and then reading a few things as well.  Plus I always think, "I don't do anything." This way I can read back over my own progress!!

As a total random p.s.... I have been listening to Joyce Meyers and she has recently been talking on 'finishing strong.'  So I do plan to finish this strong.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Beef Stew

A few weeks ago I saw this Summer Garden Beef Pot Roast recipe.  It looked delicious and I decided to do my own only in the oven instead of the crockpot.  Here is basically what i did.  (There is a reason I probably will never write a cookbook.  I don't really measure.   It is tedious.)

Sear a roast on high heat of an oven proof vessel.  I used my enameled cast iron pot.  It is heavy but I love it.

Toss in some vegetables especially something that is more 'summery' like zucchini or yellow squash.  I used zucchini, onions, red bell pepper and garlic.

Add in a box of tomatoes (I like the POM brand but you can use canned as well) and some beef broth.  I use Herb Ox beef broth.  It is low in sodium and quite tasty.  It is not a 'real' food but I don't eat it every day.  If you have have home made beef would be better.  Just have the roast mostly covered with liquid.  I use more beef broth than tomatoes because we like that better.  Do what you like!

Stir in spices.  To make my stew lighter I used Hungarian Sweet Paprika that I buy from The Spice House.  

Quarter potatoes and add them to the top.

Put in an oven at 250F for 3 to 6 hours flipping it or poking at it along the way.  This is basically the same as the slow cooker time wise however I find the stew to be less watery when I do it this way.  The meat should fall apart when it is done.  Also if you do it in the slow cooker, searing it first can really add some flavor.

Before serving add chopped basil to the top.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Magic Shell Topping

I actually call this CRACK.  Because it cracks just like Magic Shell... and because it is so awesome it is addictive.  I took some to Bible Study and people were double dipping their ice cream cones after they had crunched off the first layer...and no one cared.

I found the recipe here.  I think it is safe to re print it here as you can find it all over the internet.

Take 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of coconut oil.  Melt for about a minute in the microwave.

Yep..that's it.  Store it in a pretty glass jar, or an old catsup bottle ..if it lasts that long.

Keep it in the fridge and then re-warm it to liquid in the microwave before serving.  I would venture to guess that it is only as good as the ingredients you use.   I use chocolate chips without dairy from Trader Joes and a coconut oil I buy from my doctor's office.  (Brand name is Omega Nutrition.)  Both chocolate and coconut oil are very good for you.  Indulge sparingly however if you do not wish to expand your waistline.  And is very very very addictive.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekly Menu Planning

I have taken to grilling up vegetables and chicken thighs at the beginning of the week.  Then I can make them into salads, sammies or what have you.  This week I will be grilling up the chicken, some asparagus and zucchini.  I am also trying to do one thing new each week that might become a habit.  It will probably actually be more like something new every few weeks.  It all started with the cooking of the chicken and vegetables.  Last week I didn't do that (although I did make a GREAT Banh Mi that we noshed on all week), but i missed being able to grab grilled asparagus when I "NEEDED" to eat.  This week I am going to try and do some sort of grain salad as the start of a new habit.  I found a blog I used to read all the time and she had an interesting Spanish Rice dish.  She has a huge rice maker so I will be downsizing but trying it nonetheless.  (Update:  Yes I tried it.  I think I will need to fine tune the amounts because my rice cooker is smaller.  It was "ok." )

Spanish Rice in Rice Cooker

When menu planning I do try and think what I have going on that week.  There is a Bible study and a mom's meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I want something I can put together quickly and clean up hopefully before I leave.

Nourish MD has a wonderful way to revamp your cooking slowly with baby steps.  That is where I got the idea to cook up the chicken thighs each week.  (They also have very affordable nutrition phone consults.)  I decided to make two of their recipes; Honey glazed Chicken from Real Simple and BBQ Chicken Salad from Real Salad.  Because I never quite follow a recipe, and I didn't have honey, I made a maple syrup and dijon slather for the chicken.  It turned out very well.  Still waiting to make the BBQ Salad.  You can find all of their e-cookbooks here. They often have combo specials on Facebook.  I would link you up but I am taking a vacation from Facebook for awhile.

As I write this I am noshing on some zucchini bread fresh from the oven.  I will post that later this week. Where does that leave us for food for the week?

Honey glazed chicken with vegetables and spanish rice
Grilled chicken on salads for lunches
BBQ Chicken salad
Burritos from chicken and spanish rice..add black beans and the fixins.
Steak and potatoes.

I am a fluid planner.... as you can see.  I think the word for that is flexible!

For fun I just googled Bible verses on food. I think I'll post one each week.  This one is well known.

Give us this day our daily bread,  Matthew 6:11


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fun Foody stuff

I do love me my Food Network and now The Cooking Channel.  We were watching the Food(ography) show on Cheap Eats.  Of course there was MD's on there..and the Automats!  That was very cool.  Andrew wondered why fast food won out over's all about the customer preference.  Fancy Food Fast was referenced on the show.  He takes fast food and 'remakes' it into something very cool!  AJ said, "That is like Extreme Makeover: Fast Food Edition."  Love how he makes connections!

Here is a picture from his website.  This was made from Taco Bell.  I love how the top of his blog says, "Yea it's still bad for you.  But see how good it can look."

Food shows are a great way to spend time with your kid and even get them to branch out a bit in the food department.  They make them curious!  There is also a ton of math, geography, history, science etc...  Good Eats seems to be mostly off the air so we are going to have to find some new favorites.

What are yours?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

REAL Food 101- a Review

I was given the opportunity to review a new product published by the folks at Nourish MD. It is an introductory course in how to make the move to REAL food. It is called, aptly, REAL Food 101. You can read below what this learning module contains:

ONE: A Slide Show
We hold your hand and walk you through
ALL the details about REAL Food, Fake Food, and Bridging Food.
Plus, examples of ways we get more REAL food into our own kids! Yikes!

Video with Dr. Sue
She explains why REAL food matters for your child's health,
what inflammation can look like in your child, and how food likely plays a role.

THREE: Video with Angelle
She teaches you her secret on how to quickly figure out if a food is REAL
or at least close to it,
and how to
easily teach your child the same.
Plus, she tells you how she uses Bridging food to help her steer clear of Fake food!

No time to watch us? Than downoad us onto your iPod
and learn while you exercise, clean or do whatever it is that you do
when you listen to your iPod!


Filled with information and charts you can read, and reread
or print for your kitchen!

What I like about this is the multi media approach to the presentation of this material. The folks at Nourish MD have a great website where they give step by step instructions on how to convert your family to REAL food but this gives you the information in a variety of different ways (audio, video and print) so that you can really have it sink in. I did ask regarding captions for the video and they do have a transcript for the hearing impaired but the information is already available in printed forms in many places on their website. This is nice for those that either need or prefer to get their information in an audio format as well.

REAL Food 101 includes the first steps to convert your family. There is a follow up called...REAL Food 202. These courses are VERY affordable considering what you pay if you go to a local community class for this type of information. And you can watch it in the comfort of your home, at any time...even in your PJs! This is an excellent first step to move your family to a healthier level.

Nourish MD has a great Facebook group. And they often have specials on their various e-books and even on the REAL Food courses. You can also sign up for their newsletter on their main page.

I was given a copy of all the components of REAL Food 101 in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Super Charged Smoothies Review

Yea!!! A Smoothie book! I requested Super Charged Smoothies to review from Chronicle Books because, well, I 'heart' smoothies. My dear husband gave me a Vitamix about 6 months ago and we have used it for all sorts of recipes including smoothies. Some of the recipes in the book might benefit from a high powered blender but most can be made with any regular one you might have.

You can peek inside the book on amazon to see the amazing chapters outlined in the book. I routinely make smoothies similar to some of the recipes however they give some interesting twists such as using coconut milk for a liquid, dates for a sweetener or adding nuts for flavor, health and texture. There are many factoids and notes throughout the book that are very interesting and insightful. They do tout soy benefits and I happen to disagree on that point but you can certainly use other types of milk in place of the soy. There is not an abundance of soy milk recipes. They use a variety of ingredients including various types of milks, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

There are lots of ways to find out more about this book. Mary and Sara have a facebook page. In addition, they have a website where they blog and also post some of their recipes from their seven cookbooks. (I just know I NEED another one!) You can buy this book on amazon for $13.07. I wouldn't recommend the Kindle version just because the pictures in the book are mouthwatering.

Below is my very amateurish photo of one of the smoothie we made this morning- a couple of ingredients were changed based on the type of fruit I had in my freezer. It was so delicious and I had only made half the recipe for me and Andrew. I will be repeating later this afternoon. Yum!

I received this book as a complimentary review copy and am not obliged to write a positive review.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And the winner is....

The winner of the free e-book is...number 11. The following screenshot was from Congratulations 6-kids. I will be contacting you.

True Random Number Generator

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fit-N-Better blog

I am part of a new blog called "Fit-N-Better." Currently there are five of us blogging on our travails of becoming healthier. I thought I'd put my first post below with a LINK to it HERE. Then on Fridays I am going to do Fit Mommy Friday meme if she is doing a new challenge and I'll blog that here.

So here is my today's post from Fit-N-Better.


Hi folks! First a starting point. I did get on the scale today. Wasn't as bad as the estimate but clearly want to loose about 20-30 lbs.

First on food for me is mindful eating. I have a 10 year old and I just 'take a bite' of everything I feed him. So I am getting into the habit of at least STOPPING before I do this. Today I took bites of his pear, cashews and some potato chips. On the plus side, I did stop myself before sampling his french toast and also after I ate some chips I stopped...and then I MINDFULLY ate some more. LOL! (It was an uber stressful moment and I said to heck with it.) My next goal will be to stop saying 'to heck with it.' So I plan to publicly declare my success and trials in this area.

On exercise.... I did some Wii today..Gold's gym dance program where I burned a whole 23 calories. My lovely son said, "That's great mom! That took care of the cookie you ate." (He was being serious bless his sweet little heart.) He has told he me doesn't want me to loose weight because I am 'cuddly.' I am also doing PT 3X a week for my neck and that includes upper body weight stuff.

I'll tell you all more about myself another day. Nice to 'meet' you!